Letort raises funds to buy calf following fire

When a Letort Elementary School student’s family suffered a devastating fire in January, staff and students at the school responded in an unusual way – they raised money so the sixth-grader could buy a new calf.

The “Coins for the Calf” fund drive raised $1,025 for Becky Barley, who lost “Abel,” the calf she was raising for the upcoming fair season in the Jan. 9 fire, which destroyed her family’s Manor Township barn.

In all, the Barleys lost 120 head of cattle in the massive fire, which also destroyed another barn on their property on Indian Run Road. Luckily, no one was injured.

“Our students were asking how they could help Becky, and a teacher said, ‘How about a coin drive?’” said Letort principal Carly McPherson. “Students and staff responded by coming to school with rolls of coins, Ziploc bags of change and dollar bills. Within four days, they raised more than $1,000,” McPherson said.

On Jan. 27, McPherson presented a check for $1,025 to Becky, her mother, Anna, and grandmother, Nancy. Becky, who has attended Letort since kindergarten, has picked out a calf named “Tigger,” with black-and-brown stripes, to replace “Abel.”

“The family was overcome with emotion at the community’s generosity and humbled by the response,” McPherson said.

Kudos to the Letort students and staff for their compassionate efforts!

Members of the community can help the Barleys in other ways. An online fund drive has been established to help them recover and rebuild after the fire. The site can be accessed here.

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